Nigerian fashion designers are making a difference in the world of fashion. Their impact when it comes to representing Nigerian and African culture throughout the world cannot be overemphasized.The use of different African prints and colours in our designs createshow-stopping outfits and inspire appreciation from both home and abroad. The questions, “What is Nigerian?”and “What is African?” sometimes linger when it comes to creating Nigerian and African designs.Below are eight of the cultural representations we would like to see more of when it comes to portraying Nigerian and African fashion designs.
1. Long skirts: I am one of those who think long skirts originate from the long wrappers women would tie around their waists. Though most women might prefer the short skirts and trousers, long skirts still make elegant fashion statements, especially when worn with fitted tops. They are also a welcome option for designers when they have the need to create new designs.
2. Botanical prints: Eagerly, I look out for Nigerian designs made on botanical prints. These prints express our love for nature and sometimes feature tropical flowers of different colors or something related, which adequately represents the wildlife of sub-Saharan Africa.
3. Bandeau tops: These tops are usually a creative way of twisting scarves in a way that one can wear them as tops. This style is usually worn with a long skirt which might bare the midriff or can be done as a top with edge band elastic on jumpsuits. Either way, bandeau tops are a lovely representation, the ‘iro’ tied under the armpits.
4. Rompers and jumpsuits: Nigerian women love a good African print jumpsuit. It is edgy, classy and elegant, yet surprisingly comfortable with a nice pair of heels; whether the usual type or boots. It reflects the classy woman that is independent and is still a lover of culture.
5. Headwraps: Everywhere you go in Nigeria; you will find women donning headwraps. Regardless of the hot weather we experience, from the common woman on the street, to the high class fashion conscious madam, head wraps are a big deal. Head wraps are done elegantly with “asooke” for ceremonies and events or just simply woven around the head for everyday wears. There is something about incorporating this element in your design that just represents African culture.